If you learn to dehydrate food, you will save money by making your own snacks and store some food that you may otherwise have thrown out. I freeze spinach and bananas when I can see I can’t use all of them before they go bad. But, here’s the deal, I can only freeze so many food items. Here comes the dehydrator. I have dehydrated many foods in my Excalibur Dehydrator. You can also dehydrate food on screens outside your home in the heat of the day with the food covered with nets. I have seen people put trays of food on their car dashboards to dehydrate food. I know some fancy stoves come with a dehydrator now. Wow, how times have changed.
I have been dehydrating food for as long as I can remember. I used to have a 24-inch square harvest gold dehydrator. Yep, it was a beauty! LOL! It worked hard for me for many years. Then Excalibur came out with one that had a timer and was a bit smaller. That timer is awesome, but you don’t have to spend the extra money to get that one unless you want to go to bed at night and leave the dehydrator going like I do. I call it set and forget.
The timer works great if you need to run some errands and only want to dry the food for say three hours. You set the temperature according to the food item and set the timer. Now, if you get home after running errands and you can see the that the food needs a few more hours you can reset the timer.
I must tell you, I don’t store my home-dehydrated food for more than a year. I received my Master Canning and Preserving Certificate from the (USU) Utah State University Extension USDA classes right here in Southern Utah. I don’t use oxygen absorbers in my quart jars. I only dehydrate food for snacks.
I know people store their home-dehydrated food for long term. I do not. I purchase commercially processed food storage for long-term use.
Tips You Can Use To Dehydrate Food:
- Buy fruits and vegetables in season, they’ll have the best flavor.
- Wash fruits and vegetables, slice or chop according to instructions included in your food dehydrator book.
- Cut away any bruising and discard food item if any mold is present, better safe than sorry. Stay well.
- The only meat I have dehydrated is hamburger, see the link below for hamburger jerky. You must purchase hamburger that is 93% lean ground beef to be safe. I make hamburger jerky. It’s hard to find lean ground beef, just giving you the heads up here, or at least where I live.
- If you keep your food dehydrator handy, you can dehydrate just about any fruit or vegetable anytime. It does not have to be an Excalibur. My friend, Kim uses a Nesco and loves it! It’s smaller and sits on her kitchen counter.
- You can season the food with spices like cinnamon or dehydrate food in its natural state.
I’m sharing as many links today from my blog as possible so you can find all my dehydrated food information right here. You can just click on the words below and it will take you to that post. Enjoy!
I hope you try to dehydrate food this year, you will love the money you save by making your own snacks and building some additional food storage as well.
Strawberries: AdobeStock_76153511 by Diana Talium